The Minority in Parliament is kicking in opposition to strategies by authorities to introduce a new corporation – UNIPASS, to consider over the management of earnings operations at the country’s ports.
Govt has engaged Customs UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA) from Korea and its Ghanaian collaborators Ghana Url Network Providers Ltd (Ghana Url), to work a countrywide one window method for income selection at the ports.
But two other companies GCNET and West Blue Consulting Ltd (West Blue) have been endeavor the identical task given that 2015 and has a deal with the Ministry of Trade and Industry that is legitimate until 2023.
Addressing a media briefing in Parliament Property, Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Trade and Field Committee and MP for Bole Yusif Sulemana described the transfer as reckless.
He warned it will erode the gains created by successive governments since the 12 months 2000 to boost income era at the port.
Under is the total assertion:
1. In 2000, the then Rawlings federal government initiated ways for the establishment of a program as Ghana seemed at automating its port operations. The technique form to eliminate the rigidities and inefficiencies inherent in the manual functions and by so carrying out enhancing government revenues. The Kufour government implemented the entire roll out involving 2002 and 2006 together with creating the Ghana Group Network Solutions Ltd (GCNET) and considering the fact that then, successive governments have crafted on it.
2. GCNET as we are conscious is a Public-Private Partnership in which govt of Ghana through its organizations retains 35% shares.
3. In 2015, GCNET merged with West Blue Consulting Ltd (West Blue) to provide an integrated conclusion-to-conclude processing platform to produce the Ghana Countrywide One Window (GNSW), Ghana Customs Management Procedure (GCMS) and its Trade Facilitation One Window Platform (TFP) -components which fulfills ISO 9000 and 27000 requirements.
4. Considering the fact that its introduction in 2015, authorities revenues have continuously risen except in 2019 when federal government lessened benchmark values at the ports. The accumulated development in customs revenues between 2015 and 2018 was about 76% i.e. increasing from some GHC7.5 billion in 2015 to about GHC13.2 billion in 2018.
5. For this stellar functionality, GCNET and West Blue which are at this time contracted till the finish of 2023 and 2020, respectively are paid out a combined payment of .54% of Free of charge on Board (FOB) i.e. having into consideration government’s 35% shares in GCNET.
6. Even so, devoid of any concrete motive, the Akufo-Addo authorities just after assuming office environment in 2017 has been bent on getting rid of the two organizations and changing them with a firm with no credible observe report in offering related solutions Ghana Website link community Services Ltd (Ghana Backlink).
7. In 2017, President Akufo-Addo by way of the Ministry of Trade and Market procured Ghana Hyperlink and its collaborator, Customs UNIPASS Worldwide Company (CUPIA) by means of sole-sourcing to takeover the procedure GCNET and West Blue devoid of regard to good methods, sanctity of contracts and the simple fact that GCNET is partly owned by the Point out.
Concerns OF Worry
We in the minority be aware a quantity of problems that must be of issue to all well-this means Ghanaians. 8. Solitary-sourcing Section 40 of the General public Procurement Act (ACT 663) delivers the conditions less than which sole-sourcing is allowed.
Part 40. (1) states: “A procurement entity may perhaps have interaction in single-source procurement under section 41 with the acceptance of the Board,
(a) where products, functions or products and services are only obtainable from a certain provider or contractor, or if a specific supplier or contractor has special legal rights in respect of the goods, functions or products and services, and no fair substitute or substitute exists
(b) wherever there is an urgent want for the items, operates or companies and engaging in tender proceedings or any other strategy of procurement is impractical due to unforeseeable situations providing rise to the urgency which is not the consequence of dilatory carry out on the aspect of the procurement entity
(c) wherever owing to a catastrophic event, there is an urgent need for the products, operates or specialized services, building it impractical to use other procedures of procurement for the reason that of the time associated in utilizing these methods
(d) where a procurement entity which has procured goods, products, technological know-how or companies from a provider or contractor, decides that:
(i) additional supplies need to be procured from that supplier or contractor since of standardisation
(ii) there is a want for compatibility with current goods, machines, technologies or expert services, taking into account the usefulness of the unique procurement in assembly the requires of the procurement entity
(iii) the constrained dimension of the proposed procurement in relation to the first procurement supplies justification
(e) where the procurement entity seeks to enter into a deal with the provider or contractor for research, experiment, study or enhancement, other than where by the agreement involves the manufacturing of products in portions to set up business viability or recover exploration and improvement fees or
(f) wherever the procurement entity applies this Act for procurement that considerations national stability, and establishes that solitary-source procurement is the most acceptable method of procurement.”
Obtaining regard for this Act, we be aware that none of the 6 problems under which sole-sourcing is allowed, was occassioned in 2017 to induce Sections 40 and 41 of ACT 663. As this kind of, we wish to assure those included in this procurement that they will answer for it when we takeover in 2021.
We also want to warn Ghana Backlink/UNIPASS that a deal that is illegally procured is void and so they enter into this deal at their own chance.
9. Capacity of Ghana LinkThe GCNET/West Blue program has been audited by each regional and global agencies and has been acclaimed globally for its robustness and efficiency receiving some of the greatest ISO certification for this as perfectly as a number of area and worldwide awards.
West Blue for occasion has gained some of the most recognised nationwide and international awards be it the Planet Customs Organisation’s Global Greatest Observe Award, the Countrywide Information and facts Technological know-how Improvement e-Governance Award 2015, the Anas Aremeyaw Anas Transparency Award at the 2017 Ghana Shippers Awards or Best Technological innovation and Innovative Award at the 2017 Ghana Maritime and Shippers Award.
Unsurprisingly, the system the two corporations have place together has not had any procedure breaches considering that its inception. Without a doubt, the system’s robustness in the midst of expanded port functions has been extraordinary as evidenced by way of the elevated revenues shipped calendar year-in-year-out.
So why will our government search for to swap these kinds of corporations with a sole-sourced company with no correct track record in the business and with no verifiable exceptional units? The closest any person can affiliate Ghana Hyperlink to port companies shipping and delivery is via its subsidiary Africa Hyperlink Inspections Enterprise Ltd (ALIC) in Sierra Leone.
ALIC was contracted by Sierra Leone to provide an finish-to-conclusion procedure in 2012 but as at January 2020 when their deal was staying terminated, they ended up but to produce.
The Firm was identified not only to have failed to put into practice important and critical elements of their deal, but also to have in connivance with their dad or mum firm, Ghana Link, allegedly manipulated economical data for tax evasion functions. All over again, the Sierra Leonean Authorities also uncovered that ALIC experienced allegedly failed to pay out taxes to the tune of Le45 billion. The governing administration has appropriately initiated measures for the abrogation of their contract with the enterprise.
In Ghana also, its earlier scanning and valuation service was observed to be weak.
In spite of these destructive elements, our governing administration led by President Akufo-Addo has made the decision to exchange providers that have been delivering enhanced expert services and revenues firms that are acclaimed globally for their capability and transparency (as revealed by the awards mentioned previously), with a Corporation that has been located not only to be incompetent and incapable of offering a Solitary Window technique, but also allegedly, extremely corrupt. The only reason this can materialize is when there are ulterior motives.
10. Contract FeesFurthermore, why will any govt substitute a less expensive technique that is providing its mandate with a a lot more costly one particular that is unproven to be exceptional?
As famous previously, the put together service fees paid out to GCNET and West Blue for their services is .54% of FOB. With this Ghana Url/UNIPASS deal, federal government of Ghana has resolved, for whatever explanation, to pay out .75% of FOB.
This was immediately after granting Ghana Hyperlink duty- and tax-free of charge importation of their inputs (which GCNET and West Blue do not delight in). Our query to President Akufo-Addo is what certain addition is Ghana Backlink/UNIPASS bringing on to warrant the added .21% of FOB? Why is government supplying Ghana Url with inordinately better expenses for a service that is remaining supplied at a reduced expense? Ghanaians want to know why they will be spending much more for this unproven method.
11. Contract TerminationAnother unusual concession President Akufo-Addo has resolved to dash to Ghana Connection/UNIPASS is the ailments below which their agreement can be terminated.
Our authorities has committed that if it experienced to unilaterally abrogate or it materially breaches the contract with Ghana Website link/UNIPASS, Ghana will shell out graduated expenses of US$93 million to US$12 million in the to start with to the tenth yr, to the company.
The strange and stressing challenge about these clauses is that Ghana is committing to fork out US$93 million for terminating a contract whose overall price in excess of the 10 years is US$40 million.
What would have been sensible will be to pay out Ghana Website link/UNIPASS the remaining worth of their agreement in the celebration of a unilateral termination of the contract by Ghana. If it is the rivalry of govt that this is not the sensible thing to do, then on what basis are they in a letter signed by Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo proposing to spend GCNET the worth of the unspent time period of their agreement?
Govt wants to furnish Ghanaians with the purpose why they approved US$93 million as the termination cost for year 1.
12. West Blue sues Ghana Backlink/UNIPASS more than copyright infringement. In addition, as we discuss, West Blue is in courtroom suing Ghana Url/CUPIA and one more company, Globe Clever Ltd at the Commercial Division of the Accra Substantial Court for allegedly cloning their computer software illegally.
West Blue alleges that the software for the procedure that Ghana Url and its associates are at the moment searching for to roll out is stolen. It is, therefore, in search of, between other individuals, for the courtroom to restrain Ghana Hyperlink and its partners, affiliate marketers and assigns from making use of the software package.
Assuming soon after Ghana Url normally takes around the port providers, the court docket have been to grant this relief restraining it from applying the software package, what comes about? How does government propose coming out of such a conundrum?
13. Authorities is recklessly seeking to erode the gains built by successive governments because the 12 months 2000. This GCNET notion is a single of the only tasks that each govt in the Forth Republic has designed upon. The Akufo-Addo governing administration will be the only one particular to depart from this.
And surprisingly, they are undertaking so, so recklessly that the potential of saddling the country with substantial judgement debt could not be higher. Our belief is that the puppet masters pulling the strings for this transaction could only be determined by what they stand to gain privately.
Those men and women must be reminded that dawn is on the horizon and they will reply. In the meantime, we check with the subsequent issues.
i. Why is govt looking for to replace businesses and programs that are experimented with and examined with people that are not?
ii. Why is authorities seeking to switch competent, internationally recognised, indigenous household-developed corporations and units with overseas devices, significantly in this era of self-sufficiency and Ghana Further than Help?
iii. Why will government be sole-sourcing a procedure of this sort when an intercontinental aggressive system will have provided Ghana much better price for money?
iv. Why is federal government disregarding the file of Ghana Link and its subsidiary in Sierra Leone in this entire transaction?
v. Why is governing administration agreeing to fork out US$93 million in situation of a termination for a contract worthy of US$40 million?
vi. Why is federal government deciding upon to abrogate less expensive contracts for much more high-priced one?
vii. What is the problem with recent program that warrants its substitution?
viii. And most importantly, what is Ghana Connection/UNIPASS bringing onboard that the recent assistance companies do not have?
ix. Wherever is the feasibility study which is a affliction precedent in the settlement they signed with Ghana Backlink to clearly show the remarkable positive aspects that are anticipated from the Ghana Url deal?